Judge rules banned student can play lacrosse
A student at Wilson High School will be allowed to continue playing lacrosse despite a 28-day ban from school officials.
That's the ruling of a Federal Judge who issued an emergency order Tuesday preventing school officials from enforcing the ban.
Jackson Fletcher had received the punishment after officials told him they had determined he had planned to buy alcohol during school hours.
But in testimony before Judge Michael Simon, Dean of Students John Robinson conceded they did not have evidence to support that conclusion.
Fletcher had admitted to giving a friend $10 to buy alcohol for an upcoming party but the transaction occurred after school hours and off school grounds.
The judge also noted that the next day Fletcher went back to his friend and asked for his money back, saying he didn't want to buy the alcohol anymore.
Fletcher's lawyer told the judge that his client has ADD and is given to impulse behavior.
School officials had argued that as a student-athlete, Fletcher is held to a higher standard than regular students; that student-athletes are held to a 24/7 code of conduct.
Judge Simon said that while in some cases that kind of standard has been upheld, it has also been found unconstitutional.
While Fletcher will be allowed to play lacrosse, the judge also ordered that he start taking a special class to teach him about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
The judge also said that he recognizes that while he knows that Fletcher doesn't see it this way, he does believe that school officials had his best interests at heart.
Fletcher's lawyer said after the hearing that while he agrees that the officials have the best interests of students at heart, he does not think they had the best interest of this one student at heart in this instance.
He had argued that Fletcher - who has been scouted by college lacrosse coaches - would suffer irreparable damage if he was not allowed to play the remainder of the season.